A group of intellectually challenged differently-abled children, who received special training in magic, will become brand ambassadors of an ambitious empowerment programme of the Kerala government. Vice-President Hamid Ansari will declare as many as 23 children suffering from various challenges, ranging from autism, cerebral palsy to depression and hyperactivity, as the ambassadors of the government’s ‘Anuyatra’ programme at Thiruvananthapuram on Monday. The innovative initiative is aimed at transforming the southern state to a disabled-friendly one and empower differently-abled children by bringing them to the forefront of the mainstream society. As part of the initiative, 23 selected children were given special training in magic at the Magic Academy at Thiruvananthapuram for three months under the aegis of eminent magician Gopinath Muthukad.
All these children are students of various BUDS and special schools and resource centres in the district.
‘Anuyatra’ campaign is a joint initiative of Kerala Social Security Mission under state Social Justice Department, the State Initiative on Disabilities (SID) and the Magic Academy with the support of Departments of Health, Education, Local Self Government and National Health Mission.
The Academy has imparted free magic training for the children with an objective of creating confidence and self esteem among them under a special programme titled “M-Power”.
Their debut stage performance would be held in a special function at Tagore Theatre at Thiruvananthapuram, participated by the Vice President who would declare them as brand ambassadors of ‘Anuyatra’.
State Minister for Health and Social Justice K K Shylaja said ‘Anuyatra’ is a dream initiative of the government.
“The programme is part of the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s objective to make the state differently-abled friendly,” she said.
The inauguration of the magic troupe, comprising these children, would also be held, she said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Justice (Rtd) P Sathasivam would also take part in the function.
Magician Gopinath Muthukad said this would be the first such magic troupe in the world with intellectually challenged differently-abled children as performers.
According to official sources at Thiruvananthapuram, ‘Anuyatra’ is envisaged as a comprehensive life cycle approach for disability management.
It also aims at reducing the barriers in the path of a differently-abled person and creating conducive environment for his/her holistic development.